Archive for April, 2012

Onwards …

We leave Milan this morning en route to Chicago.  Then I’ll continue on to Ottawa tonight.

Bye-bye Italy!

The Duomo, Milan

Greetings from Milan … this is my first time here.

Upon arrival we took a stroll to find the Duomo, and got there in time for the Rosary and the vigil Mass for Sunday.  During the Mass, two men were also instituted as Acolytes.

The Liturgy in Milan follows the Ambrosian Rite.  Having heard of this Rite for many years, it was very interesting to see it being celebrated.  Latin Catholics would easily recognise what they’re used to seeing in the Roman Rite of Mass, but many of the elements are in a different order, for example, the Prayer of the Faithful came before the Creed, and the fraction of the Host came before the Lord’s Prayer.  The Sign of Peace was exchanged after the Prayer of the Faithful, something which hopefully might be followed in the Roman Rite some day.  It seems to be a much better position than it’s current placement. It was a beautiful celebration.

I keep expecting Basil Fawlty to come bounding down the stairs

We have been joking that our accomodation is a little like Fawlty Towers, but it has several things over the higher-grade hotel in Rome, namely a plug for the bathroom sink and wi-fi for the internet!  On the humourous side, it does lack an elevator, and getting our luggage up the spiral staircase from the front door was amusing to say the least!

Buona Domenica!

I’m making this post on a train in Italy – somewhere between Bologna and Milan!

Our visits to the dicasteries of the Roman Curia have finished, and we are currently scattering to the ends of the earth.  Three of us will spend the weekend in Milan and then return to North America on Monday.  I’ll have a couple of nights in Ottawa and then continue the journey to Australia.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone back home again!

Dicastery visits continue

It’s Monday morning here in Rome.

Three of us concelebrated Mass at the Mater Ecclesiae altar in Saint Peter’s Basilica this morning.  Yesterday several of us joined the concelebration of the 10.30am Mass in Latin at the Altar of the Chair in Saint Peter’s.

We resume our visits to the dicasteries of the Curia this morning.  Today we will visit the Congregations for Divine Worship, Causes of Saints, and also the Secretariat of State.

News from Rome

Greetings from the Eternal City!

Our visit has been going well, and so far the group has been to see the Congregations for Clergy, Catholic Education, Doctrine of the Faith, and the Pontifical Councils for Legislative Texts, and Christian Unity.

It was nice that, at the General Audience on Wednesday, the Holy Father mentioned our group by name in his additional remarks in English:

I offer a warm welcome to the General Chapter of the Brothers of Saint Gabriel. I also greet the group from the Faculty of Canon Law of Saint Paul’s University in Ottawa, Canada. I thank the choirs for their praise of God in song. Upon all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors, including those from England, Ireland, Finland, South Africa, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Trinidad, Canada and the United States, I invoke the joy and peace of the Risen Lord (Source:

Our hotel does not have wi-fi, unfortunately, so I’ve not had the opportunity to upload any more photos from the trip.

We have a free day tomorrow – Sunday – and then resume our visits to the dicasteries on Monday.


The Cistercian monks in choir at Gethsemani Abbey, Kentucky

I’ve uploaded some more photos to Flickr.

These photos are of Holy Saturday morning at Gethsemani Abbey.  On the drive to Saint Meinrad’s we stopped off at a bourbon distillery, since most of the world’s bourbon comes from Kentucky!  There are some shots of the proto-cathedral of Bardstown (it is no longer a cathedral church), and also of a little church near Saint Meinrad’s and a shrine to Saint Joseph.  Then there are some photos of the evening at Saint Meinrad’s, prior to the Easter Vigil.

I’m currently in Chicago.  Three of us fly out from here this afternoon from Italy.

A few photos

Gethsemani Abbey, Trappist, Kentucky

I haven’t had any success adding photos to Facebook, but I have just uploaded the first batch of photos to Flickr.

The photos are of the first day-and-a-bit of the pilgrimage, from Ottawa to Gethsemani Abbey, Kentucky.

Gethsemani is a community of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (commonly known as the Trappists).  Thomas Merton was a member of the Gethsemani community.


I am a human being

A new website project has been launched by Campaign Life Coalition:

The CLC newsletter explains that

This important educational tool has been created to support Stephen Woodworth’s private member’s motion (M-312), which seeks to establish a special committee to re-examine Section 223 of Canada’s Criminal Code which states that a child only becomes a human being once he or she has fully proceeded from the womb. Woodworth has called for a full  examination of medical and scientific facts by a committee of parliamentarians and a discussion about how these facts impact our modern understanding of human rights.

Check it out here:


Greetings from Madisonville, Kentucky!

The travelling has been going well, and more or less to plan.  On Good Friday we were with the Cistercians at Gethsemani Abbey for the afternoon Celebration of the Lord’s Passion.  Gethsemani is in a beautiful location.  It was nice to see the place made famous particulary as the community to which Thomas Merton belonged.  Whilst there we were able to join a couple of the other liturgies including Vigils at 3.15am on Holy Saturday morning.

On Saturday we travelled in Indiana to  Saint Meinrad’s Archabbey.  We arrived in time for Vespers and joined the monks for supper.  At 8pm was the beautiful celebration of the Easter Vigil.  The Vigil lasted three hours, which is a pretty good effort in my opinion as there were no Baptisms!  The music at the Vigil was extraordinarily beautiful.  The community is blessed with many talented musicians.

I’ve taken lots of photos, but I haven’t had a chance to upload any yet – so stay tuned!

By “it” I mean the fifth semester (of six) for my licentiate in Canon Law.  Time is flying by!  I had my last exam for the semester on Monday.

Tomorrow I travel to the U.S. for Easter, and next Wednesday will fly to Italy.  While there we have a study visit to the dicasteries of the Roman Curia.  A large number of the students from our faculty will be attending.  It should be an interesting and enjoyable time.

I arrive back in Brisbane on May 4th, and will be home for three months.  I’m pleased that I’ll be home for when Archbishop Coleridge is installed.

Over the next month I’m not sure what sort of internet access I’ll have … so posts to A secular priest may be sporadic.

A happy and holy Easter to all readers!